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Restoration project pays homage to Lebanon’s ‘City of Fountains’ nickname

  • Amber Porter, of Lebanon, walks her dogs near a newly rededicated fountain in the Glenwood Cemetery in Lebanon, N.H., Saturday, July 18, 2020. The fountain was first built in the 1880s. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — James M. Patterson

  • After an effort that took about four years, water is once again flowing from a fountain in Glenwood Cemetery in Lebanon, N.H., Saturday, July 18, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/19/2020 8:22:30 PM
Modified: 7/19/2020 8:22:28 PM

LEBANON — Water again is flowing from the fountain at the heart of Lebanon’s Glenwood Cemetery after a group of volunteers, donors and city employees teamed up to restore the historic feature that dates back to the 1880s.

The City Council last week dedicated the fountain, located off of Dulac Street near Storrs Hill, and formally commended the duo responsible for its restoration: longtime Lebanon residents Priscilla Gosselin and Lindamae Peck.

The duo teamed up 23 years ago to restore Lebanon’s status as the “City of Fountains,” bringing to life more than a half dozen fountains over the past two decades.

Since 1997, they’ve worked on the Carter Memorial Fountain, Colburn Park Fountain, a water feature in the Robert H. Leavitt Memorial Park on High Street and Lebanon Mall Fountain. Gosselin also maintains a fountain on her School Street property.

Those include the iconic “the girl with the umbrella” to “turtles and dolphins on a pedestal” fountains, iconic symbols of Lebanon.

“We thank all the members of the Lebanon community who took a chance that for each project, a very small group of volunteers would actually succeed in putting a fountain in a Lebanon public space and so sent us their donations to help us along,” Peck told the City Council on Wednesday. “We hope all our supporters enjoy the fountains as much as Priscilla and I do.”

The Glenwood fountain, the city’s newest addition, was “the most challenging” of those projects, Peck told the City Council.

Fundraising started in 2016, but collections failed to meet a $20,000 goal. Last year, it seemed as though the project wouldn’t be completed until an anonymous donor stepped in.

The fountain replaces a similar feature installed by the city in 1883 and paid for by the families of those buried at the Mount Calvary and Glenwood cemeteries.

The two burial grounds, which were established in 1862, are now considered one because of their close proximity. But at the time, Mount Calvary was solely for the burial of Lebanon’s Catholic community and Glenwood, in turn, was for other Christian denominations.

Both are now lined with the graves of Civil War veterans, influential families and prominent business leaders dating back to the 1880s.

Photos from the era show the fountain at the center of a green, a neatly landscaped circle with views to the surrounding hillside.

But the fountain wasn’t maintained and historians say its main sections were removed before 2000. When the fountain group first laid eyes on it overgrown trees obstructed the view.

“When I saw it hidden behind all of those trees coming up here, I thought ‘Oh, my gosh. What a waste,’ ” Gosselin told the Valley News in 2016.

The new fountain replicates some of its original counterpart’s features while borrowing others from nearby Victorian landmarks.

Volunteers recreated the historic concrete base, complete with eight small pillars that were part of the fountain’s original design.

Meanwhile, the swans adorning the new, cast-iron fountain resemble those found on the yard planter at the 1845 Carter-Campbell Mansion downtown.

There are also some modern touches, including a solar-powered water pump that recycles water and a cover that will protect the fountain in the wintertime.

“It’s truly beautiful,” Mayor Tim McNamara said Wednesday. “I think it really represents very nicely a great cooperation between a city board, a number of private donors and a number of individuals to come together to and do something that’s really special for one of the city’s cemeteries.”

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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